The ability of Great Western Railway’s Class 800 bi-mode electric multiple units to meet current and future timetables is under scrutiny by the train operator, due to their maximum speed in diesel mode of 100mph.
Network Rail’s electrification of the Great Western Main Line is taking place on a discontinuous basis, and the trains will have to run on diesel power between energised sections at potentially lower maximum speeds than the current High Speed Trains, which can operate at up to 125mph.
However, uncertainty about exactly which sections will go live (and when) means that planning future timetables when the fleet begins entering service from next year is proving extremely difficult. The Class 802s have a design speed of 125mph under electric traction.
- For more on this, read RAIL 808, published today.
- To read more on this, read The Fare Dealer in RAIL 809, published September 21.